Through the first half of the season, there was much speculation that the Patriots and Brian Waters would work out a deal for his return. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the two sides had the framework of a deal in place that would bring back the 35-year-old offensive lineman back. But that window officially closed on Friday and he will not be returning this season.

Cornerback Sterling Moore has been plucked off the Patriots practice squad by the Cowboys, according to Moore's agent, Jordan Woy.

FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins (ankle), Chandler Jones (ankle) and Rob Gronkowski (forearm) have all bee officially ruled out for Sunday's game in South Florida against the Dolphins. Mankisn will be missing his third straight game and fifth in six games. Jones and Gronkowski will be missing their second straight games since injuring themselves against the Colts on Nov. 18. The Patriots also list 15 as questionable, including offensive lineman Markus Zusevics, who returned to practice on Friday inside the Dana Farber Field House.

FOXBORO -- In a sign they will likely miss Sunday's game in South Florida, Logan Mankins and Chandler Jones missed Patriots practice indoors Friday at Dana Farber Field House. Also missing were Rob Gronkowski, who will be out again with a broken forearm, and suspended players Brandon Bolden and Jermaine Cunningham. 

Mankins hasn't practiced in three weeks since injuring his ankle against the Bills on Nov. 11 while Jones hasn't been with the team in drills since injuring his right ankle against the Colts on Nov. 18. 

NFL Network analyst Heath Evans, who played for the Patriots and Dolphins during his NFL career, joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning and talked about Sunday's matchup between New England and Miami.

Each week going forward, we’re going to look at some of the commonly held misconceptions regarding the upcoming Patriots game. This week, we take a look at the five myths surrounding New England’s Sunday afternoon date with the Dolphins in Miami.

•The Patriots will run to set up the pass.

FOXBORO -- Patriots offensive linemen Sebastian Vollmer and Dan Connolly were limited Thursday in their return to practice in shells Thursday at Gillette Stadium. This brings to 14 the number of players listed as limited in advance of New England's game with the Dolphins Sunday in South Florida. Here is Thursday's complete report:

Did Not Practice

TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm/hip)

DE Chandler Jones (ankle)

G Logan Mankins (ankle/calf)

OL Markus Zusevics (illness) 

Offensive linemen Dan Connolly and Sebastian Vollmer were back at Patriots practice on Thursday, while tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive end Chandler Jones and offensive linemen Logan Mankins and Markus Zusevics were not spotted during the media portion of the session, according to reports. The Patriots continue preparing for Sunday's divisional contest against the Dolphins in Miami.

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Tom Brady is in the process of statistically mimicking his MVP season of 2010, but does that mean he should expect to win the league's top honor for the third time in his illustrious career? With five games to play, the MVP race is shaping up to be an interesting one. 

As a coach, it helps to have a track record of success, and a Super Bowl ring or two.